Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hearing Voices

I’ve started a new book. (Don’t worry, I’m still working on book three of the Screwing Up Time series.) I’m only working on the new book at times when I wouldn’t be editing. And though this new book isn’t part of the SUT series, I do have plans for book four of the series, which has a setting that I’m very excited about.

This new book is different than the other books I’ve published. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I write more than young adult fiction. I also write what might be called literary fiction-historical fiction-upmarket women’s fiction. Yeah, kind of a hybrid. But what it’s called mostly depends on who’s describing it.

In any case, I started a new book and it’s made me think about how I write. When I write the SUT books, I know the main characters very well and their stories flow easily. But it’s different with a new cast of characters. I know the plot of the new book—not the details, but the highlights of the action and where the story is going to end up. In spite of that, I haven’t gotten beyond the first two thousand words. Every day, I keep coming back to those same words. I play with them. I alter them. I flesh them out, and then I cut them back.
I’m discovering the characters, three strangers at this point. (Though there will be more characters later.) And I’ve begun to tell their stories. But every day when I come back to the narrative and dialogue, something strikes me as “off.” So, I work with the words. Over and over again. I’m waiting for one thing. The voices. At some point, I’ll hear the characters’ voices instead of my own. And then, the novel will plunge forward because the characters will propel the story. Their desires, fears, and secrets will set everything in motion. And I’ll become the observer, the amanuensis recording their story.
In the meantime, I’ll keep editing those couple thousand words and editing book three.
Don't forget, Screwing Up Babylon is on sale at Amazon for 99 cents through Friday, April 26

1 comment:

  1. That's so cool! I love getting new ideas and stories to work with :)